Meet the New House + I Need Your Advice (Again)

Meet the New House + I Need Your Advice (Again)

(Warning: This post is full of iPhone photos with terrible lighting. Please do not judge my lack of photography skills for this one post, okay?)

It seems like I'm always asking you guys for design advice, but I love all of your suggestions so I just can't help myself! As I shared a few days ago, my roomie and I finally found a new rental home. I am so thankful for this home and we move in a week from today (the 28th).

Here are just a few of the things I love about it:

  • it's within our budget
  • it's in the perfect area (safe, close to both of our jobs)
  • the rooms are huge
  • the living room is large, too
  • it has a two car garage = more room to hoard collect furniture
  • it has tons of storage space
  • the yard is small = less mowing for 2 girls who hate to mow
  • it has better quality windows and doors than our old house = hopefully a better electricity bill

Here are a few things I don't like about it:

  • it's mostly carpet (living room and bedrooms) and not-so-cute linoleum (kitchen, dining room, bathrooms). Plus side: the carpet looks new and is dark so it will hide dirt/stains well. The linoleum is also a neutral color.
  • the trim isn't painted... I just love white trim
  • the kitchen is outdated (picture below)

Those are really the only things I don't like about it... so it's great! I'm not sure if we can paint the trim or the cabinets, so I went on Instagram / Facebook / Twitter to ask for advice. I realize that not all of you guys follow me, so I wanted to ask on here, too! Here are the pictures I took when we first looked at the house. Again, they're from my iPhone and it was raining that day, so the quality isn't great, but you get the idea.

As you walk in the door:

Meet the New House + I Need Your Advice (Again)

The view of the entire living room from the dining room:

Meet the New House + I Need Your Advice (Again)
Meet the New House + I Need Your Advice (Again)
I know it will look completely different once we get all of our decor and accessories in there, but is there anything that you would add to make it even more pretty? Keep in mind that it has to be projects that are removable once we leave. We are allowed the paint the walls, but it has to be light/neutral colors.

I'm dreaming up ideas on Pinterest on my "New House Projects" board. Feel free to check it out and let me know which projects you like best!

Dining Room + Kitchen Design: I Need Your Advice!

Instead of posting my goals for 2014, I decided I would put together a list of DIY projects I would like to achieve this year. If you've followed me for a while, you know that I live in a rental home with my friends. To see what the house looked like when we first moved in, here's the house tour. We've changed up a few things since that post, like adding a faux fireplacegetting a different dining room table, different rugs, etc., but there's still a ton I would love to do. This is where you guys come in... I need your advice along the way! First up, our dining room and kitchen. 

Info you need to know:

- Our living room, fireplace area, dining room, and kitchen all flow together, so the design needs to be cohesive.
- The colors we have currently are red, black, and pops of teal blue. The kitchen is green (the original color when we moved in).
- We can paint the walls, but I would rather not. I'm not sure how long we'll live here, so I want to invest in the pieces I have and can take with me.
- We cannot change light fixtures. And according to the stubborn chandelier over our table, we can't even adjust them to make them straight. It adds character, righttttt?
- We can rearrange anything and everything. Whatever you think, I'm open to it.

So let's get started! I'll go through each picture and explain what I would like to change and what I need advice on, okay? Okay.

A) This wall is so boring to me. I can scrap the whole thing, or I was thinking it might help if I paint the two brown pieces red to add a pop of color.

B) Do you see little Venti's dog bed? Right next to it is her dog bowl. I love her to death, but I hate seeing all of the stuff. Any ideas on how to disguise it? I've pinned some ideas to my "Crazy Dog Lady" board on Pinterest, so we'll see!

C) I shared this cutie on Facebook a long, long time ago-- I got her for $25. I had every intention to paint her, but I'm stuck on the color. Before you make up your mind, here's the china I have inside (passed down to me from my Nana!) and a close up of the rug we have under the table:

Of course, my heart immediately goes for a bright color, but I'm not 100% sure!

D) Are you feeling the bird? I was at first, but now our colors are more black than brown, so I'm not sure if it makes sense. If you're not feeling it, what should I put there?

E) I want to paint this bookshelf as well, but again, I'm stuck on a color.

F) The kitchen is my least favorite room of our home. It's outdated, but it does the job. I really hope to change out the gold knobs, at the very least.

G) The tile. That's all I can say. I would love to put a rug in here or something that can cover a large percentage of the tile, but I want it to be easy to clean. Maybe a painted foam mat?

H) The bookshelf from letter E used to be here, but I wanted to change it up. I want to do something chalkboard here for a grocery list and such. I also love this clipboard gallery wall idea from White House, Black Shutters. Ideas?

I hope I haven't overwhelmed you too much. It just helps to give myself a list... and post it for the world to see so I'm actually motivated to do it!

Leave your advice in the comment section below! I truly appreciate all of your help. Hopefully you'll start seeing all of these home projects soon!

#MoenDIYer: How To Install a Bathroom Faucet

This post brought to you by Moen, Incorporated. All opinions are 100% mine.

If you've been following my blog for a long time, you would know that after college, I lived at my friend Crystal's mom's house (that's a mouth full) for about a year. Yes, Mrs. P put up with my crafting/DIY projects in the living room of her home for a year. So, when Moen asked me if I wanted to try out their Moen Boardwalk Centerset bathroom faucet in Chrome, I knew exactly who it would go to-- Mrs. P. She is a single mom and neverrrr does anything for herself. Case in point, this was her bathroom faucet:

The only trick was, I had to install this puppy myself. I'm all for crafts and furniture, but installing a faucet? I was a little scared. So, here's how I defeated my fear and installed a bathroom faucet like a beast (with tons of pictures and arrows for people like me who need such things). Plus, Moen provides awesome step-by-step instructions in the box.

Tools You Will Need:

I used adjustable wrenches (the blue and yellow things above) and a basin wrench. I also used a towel, a small bowl, cleaner/paper towels, plumber's putty, and a flashlight.

Part 1: Removing the old faucet

1. Before you do anything, turn off the water lines underneath the sink. Unfortunately, the knobs that turn off the water lines underneath Mrs. P's sink were stripped, so we had to turn off the main line.

2. Unhook the hoses from the old faucet. There are two hoses-- one for hot and one for cold-- you will unhook both. You might want to take a towel or bowl down there to absorb the excess water in the hoses.

3. Remove the nuts from the old faucet (in our case, they were off-white plastic nuts that you can see in the previous picture where the arrow is). If your sink is ancient (like Mrs. P's), you might have to use an adjustable wrench to get them off. If you have a tight space (like us) you might also need to use the basin wrench. Mrs. P's drain stopper didn't work, so we didn't have to unhook that. If your drain stopper does work, look below to see how I installed the new one and work backwards ;-)

4. Lift the old faucet out of the sink. There will be lots of gunk where the old faucet was, so clean, clean, clean!

Part 2: Installing the New Faucet

5. Put the plastic faucet base on the sink and align it with the holes where the faucet goes in. Then, put the new faucet in place and adjust it accordingly.

6. Go back under the sink and put on the new nuts (just like the ones we took off in step 3). Tighten them as tight as you possibly can either with your hands or the adjustable wrenches.

7. Reattach the hoses to the faucet (just like we did in step 2).

Part 3: Removing the Old Drain and Installing the New One

For me, this was the hardest part. I even had to call Mrs. P's family friend because I was afraid I would ruin the piping under the sink. He was amazing because he still allowed me to do it myself, while giving me the confidence I needed to keep going.

8. Start by unscrewing the top part from the base of the sink.

9. Then, unscrew the bottom part from the piping:

10. When we started to remove the old drain, it wouldn't budge because the piping was too close. That's when we decided we would have to remove part of the piping. I was told that this part of the piping is called the "trap." Let me tell you folks, the trap is gross-- it's where all that extra gunk gets stuck.. I'll spare you the details. All I know is that you will want to put a bowl underneath to catch all of the extra water and gunk. Oh, and don't wear a cute sweater.

This is what the drain and "trap" looked like once we removed it:

11. No matter how much you want to run away, clean the trap and the area where the old drain used to be.

12. Now, here's where I'm going to get a bit technical and explain how to make the drain stopper functional. First, you will put this piece, called the pivot rod, inside the side of the new drain:

Then, screw the cap on.


13. Apply plumber's putty around the top piece of the new drain. Put the top piece of the drain in the hole.

14. Attach the bottom piece (from step 12) to the trap and put it back in place under the sink. Then, attach the bottom piece of the drain to the top piece of the drain.

15. After that, you'll take the "clevis strap" (don't worry-- I didn't know what it was either):

For part #1 below, feed the drain stopper rod through the clevis strap. Tightly tighten the clevis screw to keep it in place.

For part 2, you'll put the piece from step 12 (the pivot rod) through one of the holes at the end of the clevis strap. If you get confused, I referenced this image for clarification.

16. Test out the drain stopper.

19. Turn the water back on.

Then, dance around the bathroom because you're DONE! Isn't it beautiful?

I love the way it shines and sparkles! Here's a side by side comparison:

 Mrs. P lovessss it!

Thank you, Moen for helping me give back to Mrs. P!

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